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Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

On June 26, 2013 the Supreme Court struck down a section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which resulted in the ruling that for purposes of federal programs, a marriage is no longer exclusively between one man and one woman.

In addition, for purposes of the Title IV HEA programs, a student or a parent is considered married if the student or parent was legally married in any domestic or foreign jurisdiction that recognizes the relationship as a valid marriage, regardless of where the couple resides.

The Department of Education is applying a “place of celebration” rule. Accordingly, it has determined that any legal marriage that is recognized by the jurisdiction in which the marriage was celebrated will be recognized for Title IV HEA program purposes without regard to whether the marriage is between persons of the same sex or opposite sex, and without regard to where the couple resides.

This determination applies only to marriages. It does NOT apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar formal relationships recognized under state law.

Modified 6/22/2016
Article ID: 1934